The Washington Post

Two charters produce first graduating classes

The new Phelps Architectural, Construction and Engineering is not the only D.C. high school producing its first crop of graduating seniors this month. Before commencement season slips away, I wanted to take note of two others.

Last week Washington Latin Public Charter School graduated 42 seniors--believed to be the first students ever to complete a D.C. public school with a classical curriculum. The Ward 4 school, where one-third of the students come from low-income families, is modeled after Boston Latin, the nation’s first public school. That means a grounding in the Greek and Roman traditions, three years of Latin and two years of French, Chinese or Arabic. All 42 grads have been accepted to colleges.

Both the Ward 4 middle and high schools are in Tier One of the D.C. Public Charter School Board’s performance rankings. In 2011, 84 percent of middle-schoolers read at proficient or advanced rates on the DC CAS, one of the highest scores in the city.

At Capital City Public Charter School in Ward 1, more than 80 percent of the 39 graduating seniors scheduled to receive diplomas Friday will be the first in their families to attend college, according to school officials. They have been collectively offered about $2 million in scholarship money. Organized around the Expeditionary Learning model, Capital City is ranked in Tier 2 by the charter board.

Bill Turque, who covers Montgomery County government and politics, has spent more than thirty years as a reporter and editor for The Washington Post, Newsweek, the Dallas Times Herald and The Kansas City Star.

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